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The Netherlands; More and More a Global Innovator

On the basis of the Global Innovation Index 2018, the Netherlands is considered to be the most innovative economy worldwide after Switzerland and, in line with the European aims, plans to spend 2,5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product on research and innovation in the year 2020. The Netherlands boasts a creative and supportive environment for entrepreneurs and is developing into one of the start-up hubs in Europe.

In the year 2018 the Netherlands made it to the Financial Times FT 1000 fastest growing start-ups list. The Netherlands offers an environment that is open to new concepts and thus seen by many entrepreneurs as a ‘experimental lab’. The Dutch promote sustainable innovation and technology in multiple ways. The nine so called ‘top sectors’ in combination with knowledge institutions and government, together referred to as the ‘the golden triangle’, provide an excellent network for innovative technology. It is why the Netherlands is known for its multidisciplinary approach to analyse and solve issues, including different technical and societal perspectives.

High Tech leader

A large success is ‘Brainport Eindhoven’ University campus, providing home to the pioneers in photonics. This region in the Netherlands holds most patents per capita in the world. The science team of Technical University of Eindhoven is a global leader in photonics. The application of light instead of micro-electronics to conduct information in computer chips will drastically reduce energy use, will increase information storage capacity and will most likely lead to many innovations in other fields. One of the likely spin offs shall be less invasive medical interventions. Also in mechatronics and robotics the Dutch have enterprises that compete at the forefront of development. ASML based in Eindhoven is the worldwide number one manufacturer of complex machinery for the chip production industry. SmartPhotonics is unique as it is the first foundry for Indium Phosphide semi-conductors on the globe that produces products designed by their customers. Their chips can be used for several high tech appliances, such as low-power data centres, ‘intelligent pills’ for medical diagnostics, aircraft sector and ultra-secure cryptography devices.

Circular hotspot

The government in Holland considers a circular economy the best solution to the ecological problems the worlds faces. That is the reason it promotes chains that bring circular innovation about. Dutch multinational companies like AKZO and DSM invest a lot of money and effort in the circular chemistry. Royal Vopak does so in solutions for storage and transport of chemical substances. Philips Lighting in a joint effort with architecture company Rau came to the market with a brand-new business model: providing their clients illumination as a service rather than bulbs as a product. Also in the construction sector new business concepts are brought forward. Circular waste stations are being realised by Modulo Milieustraten. The Dutch energy grid operator Liander developed a totally circular headquarters and Park 2020 is the first circular office plan seen on earth.

Water technology

An important keystone of the Dutch water policy is developing high tech, sustainable plus resilient infrastructure all over the world. After the flood that caused a lot of damages in New Orleans, the reaction was ‘we need support from the Dutch’. Since then large technical and societal modifications have been realised in order to prevent another flood disaster to happen. Dutch engineering and dredging firms like Boskalis, Fugro, Royal Haskoning and Van Oord execute major dredging assignments at any continent in the world. In Southeast Asia currently land from the sea is being reclaimed as it was for centuries done in the low lands. In Dubai Dutch firms constructed the palm shaped islands in front of the Persian Gulf coast. In Panama a harbour is planned that will serve as a transport hub for the Central American region. In India there is a program that plans to clean the upper part of the Ganges river while giving its banks space for sustainable industry for the future. These are but a few of the many enterprises outside the Netherlands. In fact the Dutch water sector has to make an utmost effort to keep up with the demand.

Being part of the success

Has the above made you excited? The Netherlands has an open economy with hardly no thresholds for company formation. For start-up entrepreneurs from outside of the European Unions a work and residence permit will be required to run a Dutch start-up. Start-up visa can provide outcome. ABiLiTieS Trust|Corporate Services can assist with a broad scope of Dutch corporate services for set up of your start-up: legal, accounting, tax, registered address, immigration and directorship services.